Mixed Bag at Mallacoota
  |  First Published: June 2005

After fishing Mallacoota for the past 20 years, I can’t remember an autumn like the one we’ve just had. With winter almost upon us, the land temperatures are finally starting to cool down, a month later than usual. The water temperature in the estuary and out in the ocean is still a lot warmer than usual for this time of year. This all has an effect on where the fish are and what they are up to.

For people new to fishing, much is said about the need to keep a diary detailing species, date, location and type of lure or bait. However, without water temperature, all of this means very little. The water temperature off Gabo Island at the time of writing is still 64 degrees and as the inlet is tidal, the front lake is 64 degrees. Towards Gypsy Point the temperature is around 61 degrees. The same time last year the inlet was closed, the water temperature in the front lake was 48 degrees. Between Cape Horn and Gypsy Point the temperature rose to 52 degrees and it was obvious where to start fishing (where the fish were most comfortable – 52 degrees). Coming from the old school I use Fahrenheit than Celsius because many sounders do not have increments in Celsius. In Fahrenheit I can easily see small temperature changes.

I have spent a fair bit of time fishing Mallacoota this last month and there are still plenty of bream and flathead in the rivers and creeks. Many bream are undersize but offer great sport on soft plastic and hard-bodied lures. There are a few big fellas around. There’s also been a few good estuary perch about, mostly caught on soft plastics.

Heading towards Gypsy Point and Mallacoota township you will find bream, flathead and the odd trevally. A recent trip yielded some nice size bream in 12ft while fishing the rock edges around Cape Horn. The lure of choice was a green Firebait Longtail Minnow rigged on 1/8oz Bassmaster jighead.

Fishing the rock edges in the narrows I encountered a nice 8kg jewfish. Again, the successful lure was a green longtail minnow.

The front lake and the bays around the township continue to fish well for flathead, while yellowfin bream are still being caught around Goodwin Sands. There are plenty of blackfish around the weed edges, which tend to get bigger and bigger as very few people fish for them.

Off the beaches, the odd salmon is being caught, but this will pick up as winter arrives. Outside there have been some good catches of gummy sharks and sand flathead. Good fishing! Capt. Kev

Greg Crews caught this beaut Mallacoota estuary perch recently.

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